Poetry By Chuck



(Introduction:  This poem is a view of the tragic events from the time period of the 1600-1800's.   It tells the story of a little gathering of rock huts, and their occupants, just a mile outside of a small town along the coast of Massachusetts, in the United States of America.  As the earth turns, and the fog bank swirls, the events of this story unfold.  But, like the never ending fog bank, which witnesses the tragic events, this narrative unemotionally relates the story to us and allows us to experience it with our own emotions not those of the author.) 

Now.... enter a place of hopelessness....

Dog Town

The ocean pounds the craggy cliffs with a temper born of tempests.
The women crowd the shoreline rocks searching the windy waves so tossed.
Winds wear to the ragged edge, tempers that now vent in rage.
Screaming in hate at natures fate with tears mixed in rain.

They were married, in a small town, close to the oceans bay.
The tide was out, the pier was empty as the now exposed clay.
One night they had before he left to search with a harpoon.
The whaling ship departed the slip to disappear so soon.

A year has passed composed of endless minutes, no its not absurd.
No indication of the time that lapsed, nor from the sailor is heard.
Was he lost in the briny deep or killed by a whaling herd.
Where is her love, now lost at sea, for whom there is no word.

So many widows line the rocks, casting to the sea.
Worried glances, hated looks, so angry they can't believe.
No divorce for them, no end to this, a horrible fate indeed.
Forever standing on the shore, screaming then falling to their knees.

Their only shelter, crude rocks gathered, their only companion a dog.
Ravaged by winds that tore and tear, surrounded by the fog.
Winds that whip coats away, winds so coldly sharp they wound.
Hearts frozen by lost souls now resting in deep ocean tombs.

The crude rock shelters line the edge, shelters that shelter not.
Firewood is scarce, barely enough to warm a clothed forgot.
Rocking back and forth to the fire embers all in a glow.
Never warmed, always cold, never a welcoming 'Hello!'

Each day much the same as the endless day before,
Only the creaking rocking chair and red eyed dog by the door.
Days stretch seconds into weeks and weeks stretch minutes into months.  
Months find wasted years and still outside, the rain, it pours.

How can she continue to survive against this endless pain.  
How can she survive when there is nothing for her to be gained.
The knife lines stretch across her wrists as the years will attest.
Her face changes as her rest, the wrinkles do their best.

Each night she faces another without her lovers touch.
She only knew him once and she knows she lost so much.
The fire glow should have lit up their young lives in love.
Instead it illuminates, only, the staring red eyes of the dog.

In the rain, wind driven night, can be heard her awful plight.
Screaming, weeping, openly defying the nights stormy sights,
She stands waist deep in the oceans surging, pulling tides.
Never caring how close is she, or whether she lives or dies.

In defeat she retires to her leaky rocky home.
To spend another bleak day, the dog without a bone.
Nor does the sun provide a respite, despite its sometime shine.
Its dark inside her heart, a place the sun cannot find.

All the widows gathered round and voted to change the name.
Now the town which they created will never be the same.
If you visit, just passing by, it will be obscured by the fog.
The never ending fog bank, now named after a red eyed dog.

In the horrible dark recesses of her stacked rock coffin
She enduring passes each minute, her chair slowly rockin'.
Her desires mount, her breath quickens with her thoughts of him.
No where to go, almost alone, no way to satisfy those whims.

In terrible mental flows she imagines the evening knows.
Of her restrained and unsatisfied passions, for the touch of him.
Mental visions long ago blurred, causing her to sob.
The only viewer is illuminated, the black red eyed dog.

Now her time is near, her death of years, her life spent in tears
Her yells fade in distances made of unendurable days and years.
One final rock, in the rocking chair, and she takes her lovers arm.
Then the howls of abject pain, pronounce that she is gone

Comments by Poets 

All rights reserved, © Chuck Johnson. Copying without permission for non-personal use is forbidden.

If your interested in reading more about this story, I highly recommend you read the book availble from this link   www.anitadiamant.com/newfiction.htm    This is a true story, one of the pain and suffering so many of these women endured.  Dog Town can be found by using Google Earth a free program that will let you type in its search bar .. Dog Town MA  and hit Enter.  As you zoom in on it, you will see the outlines of the homes there now.  The remains of Dog Town are the crumbling walls that follow the old roads from the town.  







Pierre Richards on Sep 06, 2004, 1:12  
Aut insanit homo, aut versus facit 1670 critiques, 106 poems. said:
Verdict: excellnt!!!!!


I have read pieces on the plight of the ones that have been leftbehind before, but this gave so much life to the storis!
Fantastic piece of writing!
You carried the pain, endurance, and expression of her loss so very deeply and completely.
An excellent story told of the one left behind!  


Pendragon on Sep 06, 2004, 9:15 
think good things and it will happen 430 critiques, 0 poems. said:


this was amazing write you done excellent job i am very much impressed with the job you did and loved reading this work !


 sewasham on Sep 06, 2004, 10:01 
Take care and Have fun. 1596 critiques, 175 poems. said:


You painted a very vivid picture with your words Chuck. You described the pain of loss quite well. The sadness is in the truth of it all. Well done. Take care and Have fun. Steve  


ArrowCobain on Mar 01, 2005, 6:20 p.m.  
Don't accept me but i am amazing 305 critiques, 105 poems. said:


Wow! This just reminds me of something Edgar Allen Poe would write (compliment by the way). I loved this part:
She stands waist deep in the oceans surging, pulling tides.
Never caring how close is she, or whether she lives or dies.

Great great job and thanks for entering my contest!



FlutterbyDreamer on Jul 22, 2005, 2:44 
5 critiques, 2 poems. said:
Verdict: excellent


The ocean pounds the craggy cliffs with a temper born of tempests love this  


pure zen on Aug 23, 2005 
remember why you came and why you're alive. . . . 111 critiques, 27 poems. said:


this is fabulous. i'm speachless.
amazing work.
great effort.
well done.
keep writing .
peace *&* love always,


 sunny day on Aug 23, 2005, 1:02  
Smile, you never know who's watching! 1831 critiques, 131 poems. Currently online. said:
Verdict: Kudos!!!


OMG, This was a sad story but beautiful indeed. I am from MA and have been to ME many times. I know not of this place but this story has piqued my curiosity so much. Did this small whaling town really exist back then? If so I would love to do some research on it for my next visit there. Your writing was exceptional. You have a great talent and your pen expressed it.
I am adding you to my favorites and look forward to reading more of your work. Thank you Chuck for sharing this lovely piece with all of us. Fantastic!!!! Best wishes in the contest with this.   Joyce  


 Chuck Johnson on Sep 29, 2005, 7:36 p.m. 
Just fade away. 567 critiques, 147 poems. Currently online. said:


Yes, Dog Town did exist and still does in the sense that its rock walls still surround the old home steads along the coast of MA. Modern homes now dot the coast line there, but the reminders can still be found covered in moss and forgotten tears.  


stormigrl on Oct 12, 2005, 10:29 
Matrize! 488 critiques, 36 poems. said:
Verdict: Beautifully written


This reminds me of listening and watching to the tunes of Ragtime. I saw it and it was truly awe-inspiring. About Henry Ford etc. Loved the piece and thanks for allowing me to read this off your featured pieces. I think this is going to be an awesome contest.


 grannyeri on Feb 07, 9:55 
I can do it. 9030 critiques, 16 poems. said:


Such an educational write here, sharing a part of history I previously knew nothing about -very intriguing story and you have written it well in this form - the pain is so transparent in this poem.  


heather 802 on Feb 07, 10:19  
Death brings more than life 728 critiques, 52 poems. said:


The introduction itself was incredibly unusual but it helped me to understand the poem and really get into the story. Then the author comments about further reading just made me even more interest in discovering more.

The form and rhyme is seemingly perfect, well I at least didn't pick up on any blatent errors! It flows very well which held my attention eventhough it was such a long piece of work which I'd normally be put off by.

The emotions and feelings in this poem have also been conveyed very clearly through your choice of words and imagery. The description in the opening stanza(s) heled me visualise the scene, the picture helped too!

I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this from the background to the words to the rhyme. Everything! Thank you ever so much for sharing this with us all. Take care, Heather x